Free clocks on wall photo
They are not the same!

I‘ve never met an accountant yet that is not doing advisory with their clients at some level. The Advisory Problem that many accountants face is that it is often not structured, not organised and, worst of all,  not paid for.

The way to change this is keep advisory simple and start with small steps that suit you and your firm.

Our guides reflect on specific areas of whole of client, advisory-led engagement; sometimes to challenge conventional wisdom and sometimes to affirm the obvious.

But always with a fresh perspective!

This guide covers … EFFICIENCY versus EFFECTIVENESS.

It’s YOUR Advisory … YOUR Way.

Tick Tock – The Clock is Ticking

Don’t get confused between efficiency and effectiveness.

There is an enormous difference and this isn’t at first sight entirely obvious.

For instance, if you are a bank that chooses to outsource your whole support function to Asia, because it saves money (efficiency) it’s not effective when you start losing hordes of customers for quite frankly, wholly predictable reasons.

Accountants have always lived by time; we manage our performance by time, we assess what we do by time and importantly, we regularly charge by time.

Clients ask us if the “Clock is ticking”, so they clearly understand the deal when it comes to their accountant’s typical charging system!

Accountants never seem to have enough time and the impact of the pandemic and that of technology, has meant most of us are working harder and harder, often for only incremental gains.

I’m Busy!

What do you say when you meet someone and ask them how they are? Do you ask them if they are busy? Often we wear being busy as a badge of honour.

Technology was supposed to release we human beings from the toil of boring graft, but in reality it has simply squeezed efficiency and meant we are all expected to do more than ever before.

The big question for accountants is, “How do I focus on advisory services that I know are essential for our sustainable long-term future, when I have such chargeable hour and client pressures?”

It’s a good question, but actually what is time? We work on a 24-hour clock that you would imagine straightforwardly answers the question.

However, does it, as 20 minutes sat in the dentist’s waiting room to have a tooth removed, is not the same 20 minutes as those spent frolicking on vacation in the swimming pool with your children or grandchildren?

It’s the same unit of measurement, but not the same experience of time passing, or to that extent … VALUE.

Valuable Time With Clients

Use of time is about the quality and effectiveness of our use of what we have available, not just about how efficient we are with this time. We read a lot about time management, but of course the reality is that we cannot manage time at all, we can only manage how we use the time we have available.

Unfortunately some accountants try to spend as little time as possible with clients and see this as EFFICIENT (less time, same fees).

Other more progressive firms see it as EFFECTIVE to spend regular time with clients – even if it is just one hour understanding their goals and business – to identify opportunities to help them  and thus generate regular paid-for advisory work.

What are you? Are you as EFFECTIVE as you could be?